Miami Heat fans are a funny bunch. They're funny like "That's a hilarious tweet; you're so funny!" and funny as in no two Heat fans are exactly alike. Describing anyone as a snowflake has lately taken on a whole new meaning (thanks, Obama!), so we won't go there, but it truly seems like no two Heat fans are created equal. Maybe that's because the team didn't exist until some current fans were in middle school. Maybe it's because just in the past 15 years, there has been the lowest of the lows and the highest of highs any sports fan across all sports could possibly experience. Maybe it's just because Miami. Who knows?
Though Heat fans are incredibly unique and difficult to predict, we can still categorize them. Here are the five most common types found in Heat Nation.
5. The name-on-the-front-of-the-jersey Heat fan
Sports is not unlike politics. This type of Heat fan sides with the team regardless of the circumstances. More often than not, this Heat fan is the most loyal of the bunch. And in fairness, this team has more than earned these fans' unquestioned support over the past two decades. Push Dwyane Wade out the door? How dare you?! Are you nuts, Riley?! This type of Heat fan wasn't among those jumping on Twitter to lob those kinds of questions at Riley. They are all-in with whatever the team thinks is best — and more often than not, they're rewarded for that devotion.
4. The name-on-the-back-of-the-jersey Heat fan
We just dove from the lovely hot tub that is the best group of Heat fans straight into the freezing-cold ice bath that is the worst kind of Heat partisan. LeBron James is coming to Miami? These people suddenly must be seen at a Heat game! Their entire motivation for going to a Heat game is to tell people on Facebook about that time they went to a Heat game — all because it's the in thing to do. Luckily, these fans — better known as frontrunners or bandwagoners — are long gone now. The minute they heard about Luke Babbitt joining the Heat, they were running to the cash-out window. Now they want back in like Ray Allen just tied the game or something.
3. The cocky Heat fan
Once a regular on the show, this Heat fan is only now reemerging from the shadows. When the team had an 11-30 record earlier this year, the cocky Heat fan was sort of just creepily whispering to himself, "They'll see. They'll all see." Now, as the Heat approaches .500 and a spot in the playoffs, this fan is back and cockier than ever. He told you never to doubt the Heat's culture, but you wouldn't listen. Does the Heat have a chance to beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs? Pfffft. Are you even a fan of basketball? Of course the Heat can beat the Cavs. Pay attention! Cocky Heat fan still believes the air conditioning in San Antonio is the only reason the Heat doesn't have another banner hanging in the American Airlines Arena.
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2. The outraged e-Heat fan
This is the Heat fan the rest of the nation hates. Why? Because this is the Heat fan who spends all day on Twitter. The e-Heat fan exists only on social media, and even though he seems to know so much about everything, in reality he catches only every third game or so. He's quick to demand the team fire Erik Spoelstra. This fan doesn't care about loyalty to Udonis Haslem. He defends Heat home-crowd sizes but hasn't been to a Heat game since the first year LeBron came to Miami even though he lives ten minutes from the arena. This fan just wants to complain or be outraged. When the Heat is winning and everything is going well, you barely hear from this guy.
1. Your dad
Your dad calls to ask when the Heat game is on even though you got him an Amazon Echo for Christmas and he could simply ask it. He really just wants to talk Heat basketball with you so you'll talk to him at all. Your dad isn't on Twitter, so fringe Heat news that can't be found in a newspaper takes a couple of weeks to hit him. "Did you know Wade could come back to the Heat this offseason?" he'll ask you next week. What Dad lacks in up-to-the-minute Heat knowledge, though, he makes up for in loyalty to the team. He believed at 11-30 they could still make the playoffs. He thinks Wayne Ellington could be the team's next Ray Allen. He still can't understand why Dwyane Wade would leave, but he sides with the team. Your dad is the best Miami Heat fan.